Rocket motors have made possible everything we do in space - from the tiniest motor the size of a pea to giant motors bigger than a house, they have been used to propel into space launchers as tall as St Paul's Cathedral weighing as much as a Navy warship - the Saturn V. The Rocket Manual tells the story of rocket motors, how they were first developed, how they work, what they are used for and how they are operated. This fascinating Manual explains and describes not only the engines themselves but also the rockets that carry payloads into space, to the Moon and to the planets.
David Baker joined the US space programme during the Apollo years and later worked on the development of NASA's Shuttle. He has written widely on spaceflight technology and is editor of Aviation News. He lives in Kent.
Explanations of the origin and operating record of satellite launchers around the world. Principles of rocketry - the basic principles behind rocket propulsion; fuels and oxidizers and how they are divided into different types and combinations; what happens when a rocket fires; why were they so difficult to make. Early historical developments - from firecrackers to weapons of war, 13th century China to British Congreve rockets of the late 18th century; diverse applications in war to the great conflict of 1914-18; the first liquid-propellant rockets in the US, Germany and Russia, from 1926. Military stimulus: V-2 to the first long-range rockets of the early 1960s - experimental rockets in the 1920s and 1930s; German rocketry before the war; the spread of experimentation in Europe and the US; US rocket engines for early missiles; new families of motors for the big rockets (Atlas and Titan). Satellite and space launchers - chronological order by first flight of all the main satellite and space launchers with descriptions of their rocket motors, cutaways of the separate stages, aspects of their propulsion systems, flight records and what they carried. All the main satellite launchers and their rocket motors from the USA, Russia, Europe, China and India. Small rocket motors for various applications - descriptions of rocket motors designed to move satellites and space vehicles around in space, land on other worlds, keep satellites stabilised in orbit and return spacecraft to Earth.